The Congressional prohibition against using federal funds to pay for abortions will affect Mifepristone. Unlike the 50 states, which can use local tax money to help low-income women pay for abortions, Congress controls the District of Columbia’s taxes and Congress prohibits the use of public funds to cover the cost of abortion. This policy applies to surgical abortions, as well as medical abortions through the use of the abortion pill, RU 486. According to the Washington Post, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams (D) agreed that the policy prohibiting public fund from subsidizing abortion costs would apply to both surgical and medical abortions and could only be used in ending pregnancies that were a result of incest or rape or when the life of the woman is in danger. Low-income women in the D.C. area must rely on the limited private financial aid of groups like Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington.
Media Resources: Washington Post – December 16, 2000; Kaiser Daily Health Report – December 16, 2000